IPC stands for International Patent Classification and is one of the categorisation systems for patents. IPCs are used in over 100 countries to classify the content of patents in a uniform manner, administered by WIPO (Worldwide Intellectual Property Office). It is a hierarchical system made up of letters and numbers, which allows one to identify patents in a specific field of technology. For instance, the category A is labeled “Human Necessities”, within category A there are then 16 subcategories. Those subcategories then have sub-sub categories, sub-sub-sub categories, and so forth. These go all the way down to A01K89/016, for instance, with each section or level of the IPC becoming more and more specific, that now referring to “Fly reels”.
With foreign patents and patents that are written in misleading or uncommon jargon, they can be very difficult to find using a keyword search. Searching by IPCs ensures that you will capture all technologies within a specific field, regardless of the terminology used.
PatSnap has a glossary of all IPCs which you can find HERE.